I wanted to bring to my customers the realities of an infant massage class. I trained as an infant massage instructor in March 2017 and have been running regular infant massage classes at the One2One Midwives Pregnancy Advice Centre for over a year.
This class is usually one of the first that gets attended by new parents. Our babies are very small and its also the class where our mums are just getting used to being somewhere on time with a million things to remember and a small dictator throwing curveballs every time you try to walk out that door!
So, what I wanted to bring to this blog post is the realities of these classes. I see so many infant massage providers/classes advertising about how beautifully relaxed all the babies are during their sessions. How every mum was able to perform all the strokes to perfection as they could listen to the instructor without any interruptions and how every baby immediately enjoyed being massaged half naked in a room full of strangers and at a set time.
This. Needs. To. Stop.
This is such a huge annoyance of mine and is setting up our new mums full of unrealistic expectations. I would have certainly been full of these expectations myself walking into a room with my baby not that long ago. I also know for a fact that I would have walked out of that room feeling stressed and very upset that my baby hadn’t conformed to any of these expectations and cried for the duration.
What does this environment do to a new parent’s mental health? Probably not a great deal.
Working with very small babies is very unpredictable! There is no routine and certainly no reasoning. The one thing that is consistent about our babies is that they do like to cry! And they can do that very well. This is OK! No new parent should feel like their baby having a meltdown that they can’t stop should be a reason to leave the class, they are being disruptive, contribute to a feeling that they don’t like massage or that they have failed to meet some ridiculous standard that has been set to them by essentially false advertising.
Infant massage is a journey for both parent/carer and baby. It takes time, patience and a whole lot of work to get right. But infant massage is one of the most precious and beautiful things you can do with baby with tons of added benefits! Just coming to the class is an achievement. These small wins are usually forgotten and not celebrated enough.
Keep at it mummies, your hard work will pay off, I promise! And trust me, everyone goes through that meltdown week, often more than once! But everyone is in it together ? and that’s the fun of it.
Booking for Baby Massage and Teeny Magoos classes can be found on our Book A Class tab at the top of the page! Hope to see you there for the next one.